HS2 is it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

HS2 is it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

15 posts
23 Feb 2014
Johnmphoto
Photographer
Johnmphoto
This high speed train is supposedly going benefit the Midlands and the   North West.
Are people living in London and the south East going to travel up to Midland and the North West to work?
The train probably won’t be much faster due to the speed restriction in the tunnels and on the curves. 
I think people are going to travel down to the South East to find work and that means the London and the SE will become richer increasing the North South divide. 
Posted 23 Feb 2014
magpie1
Photographer
magpie1
My feelings are that the money would be better spent improving the network overall. Little point getting to Birmingham 20 minutes quicker if you still have a 30 min wait to go anywhere else, assuming the on link has not been cancelled.
We need a properly integrated transport system not a 'headline' token.

Posted 23 Feb 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
It doesn't take much intelligence to spot that this is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
If it were a serious project it would link to Heathrow (reducing the need for domestic flights and more runways) and to HS1. There is some sort of Heath Robinson link proposed between Euston and St Pancaras, but it is so ludicrous that it is expected to be abandoned and people left to walk (less than 10 minutes). It doesn't even connect with Crossrail.

Presumably the main benefit of the current scheme is that Ryan Air will be able to fly to London-Birmingham Airport.
The offical report on benefits (by some accountants paid an enormous amount of money to produce the answer the government asked for) showed that the biggest beneficiary would be in re-generation to Old Oak Common in West London. Boris reckons that Old Oak Common could become the Canary Wharf of West London (because people can live in 'cheap' accommodation in Birmingham and commute to West London I guess)

Posted 23 Feb 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 23 Feb 2014
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
Rubbish. We should have built the thing decades ago. It's utterly absurd not having a proper high speed link to the north of this country. Just a shame we have to waste years and millions of pounds responding to endless pressure groups all using it as an excuse for a bit of self promotion and grandstanding.

Posted 23 Feb 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
redbaron
Rubbish. We should have built the thing decades ago. It's utterly absurd not having a proper high speed link to the north of this country. Just a shame we have to waste years and millions of pounds responding to endless pressure groups all using it as an excuse for a bit of self promotion and grandstanding.
Your 'argument" could have come from the DoT it is so full of sentiment and bereft of facts or logic. Flood defences have to show a payback of £8 for every pound spent. This project is forecast to bring a return of between £1.20 and best case £1.40 for every pound spent. And that doesn't include any money for improving lines which connect with the very limited number of stations the line would serve. Due to the economics it will be cheaper to fly from Manchester than catch this train, and unless you are travelling from very near both stations it will probably be quicker.
Posted 24 Feb 2014
CameraWillD40
Photographer
CameraWillD40
From my experiences of travelling up and down the M1 and M6, I think that the money would be far better spent getting more freight onto the railways. The traffic flows so much easier when there aren't many lorries around.

Posted 24 Feb 2014
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Not to worry.....some people will get rich from this scheme...very very rich...and that is the main point of the exercise.

If the aim was really to benefit the country the money would be better spent investing in Britain's youth or high tech industries or the creative industries.....there is quite a list of suitable investment alternatives to providing marginally faster train trips to the few who will be able to afford the tickets.
Posted 24 Feb 2014
Edited by anthonyh 24 Feb 2014
Preime
Photographer
Preime
Whilst I think a highspeed link is an excellent idea and to be honest we should have a network of highspeed lines running from portsmouth all the way up to edinburgh, the way this is being costed and implemented is ridiculous and vastly overpriced.

Posted 24 Feb 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
If the £billions for this were spent on decent communications infrastructure for the whole country then we wouldn't need to travel as we'd have the bandwidth for high quality video conference calling and remote access to our computers.

Posted 24 Feb 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
It is quite interesting to note that HS1 and HS2 will be the only continental gauge railways, but they won't be able to run through trains from Manchester to Paris etc.
As speed has now been discounted as a reason for building the line, (it is now all about capacity - apparently), so why waste all that money on shaving 20 minutes off the journey from Birmingham when a none HS line on the same route would be hugely cheaper but provide massive new capacity. Better still make it a 'slow' speed continental gauge freight line and spend some of the savings on creating further continental gauge freight lines connecting to it.


Posted 24 Feb 2014
MaoZhu
Photographer
MaoZhu
stolenfaces
It is quite interesting to note that HS1 and HS2 will be the only continental gauge railways, but they won't be able to run through trains from Manchester to Paris etc.
The only continental gauge railway in the UK was destroyed by Beeching and is now in part a heritage railway. They are spending millions trying to bring the line from Southampton to the Midlands up to continental standards, but the problem is as soon as a diversion is needed for maintenance the continental loading gauge trains cannot run. Governments throughout from the second world war onwards have never taken railways seriously. Our Victorian forefathers had the vision to look forward years into the future unlike modern governments that cannot see any further forward than the next election.
Posted 24 Feb 2014
Edited by MaoZhu 24 Feb 2014
MaoZhu
Photographer
MaoZhu
HS2 would be the right solution if it was seen as an extension to the European high speed network rather than an isolated High speed line. As it stands at the moment its a bit like HS1 was when it stopped in the middle of Kent and then went slow all the way to Waterloo. It should be linked properly to HS1 not by some some northern London branch line that will never work. If it was fully integrated into the existing passenger network it would free up an enormous capacity on the normal lines for freight. The ability to travel from Manchester to Munich should be what we are looking for not from Stockport to Stockwell

Posted 24 Feb 2014
Edited by MaoZhu 24 Feb 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
MaoZhu
HS2 would be the right solution if it was seen as an extension to the European high speed network rather than an isolated High speed line. As it stands at the moment its a bit like HS1 was when it stopped in the middle of Kent and then went slow all the way to Waterloo. It should be linked properly to HS1 not by some some northern London branch line that will never work. If it was fully integrated into the existing passenger network it would free up an enormous capacity on the normal lines for freight. The ability to travel from Manchester to Munich should be what we are looking for not from Stockport to Stockwell
Whilst I don't disagree with your points..... Surely it would be better if you could move freight from Manchester to Munich on the same gauge railway. If it's a choice wouldn't that help the economy (and planet) more than passenger trains.
Posted 24 Feb 2014
MaoZhu
Photographer
MaoZhu
stolenfaces
Whilst I don't disagree with your points..... Surely it would be better if you could move freight from Manchester to Munich on the same gauge railway. If it's a choice wouldn't that help the economy (and planet) more than passenger trains.
I cant argue with that one at all. I believe we are now suffering from the irrational way the Beeching closures took place. Ok I know its history, but the Great Central line was for exactly the purpose you are on about. When you see our trains struggling to get a container under a bridge, or worse still a 1940's British steam loco having its chimney shortened because we have reduced are loading gauges over time to save money on maintenance it makes you realise that railways have been neglected by governments for years. Compare a British freight train to an American one, the difference is huge, but we were always told that the Americans didn't like rail. What is needed is as you say the capacity to run freight right through, the channel tunnel allows that now but once north of the tunnel it is back to UK loading gauge. But I do not believe it would cost that much to bring a lot of lines up to Continental gauge, in a lot of cases it just needs the years of ballast build up removed. But once north of London is where I see huge problems for freight. To increase the capacity of the west coast mainline would be a huge job, look how long and how much the last upgrade took. To get the extra capacity it would mean adding extra tracks for mile after mile, that in my view could cost as much if not more than HS2, imaging trying to add extra tracks through Birmingham or any other town for that matter. Thats why I believe HS2 could be the right solution.
Posted 24 Feb 2014
Edited by MaoZhu 24 Feb 2014
digimarx
Photographer
digimarx
Johnmphoto
This high speed train is supposedly going benefit the Midlands and the   North West. Are people living in London and the south East going to travel up to Midland and the North West to work? The train probably won’t be much faster due to the speed restriction in the tunnels and on the curves.  I think people are going to travel down to the South East to find work and that means the London and the SE will become richer increasing the North South divide. 
I agree with you completely on this. It's about, in my opinion, marketing people wanting something to bankroll themselves a bottomless pit of money from the government, the estimated costs have already gone up, and nothing has already been approved yet. Amazingly, the government seems willing to go ahead with the plan. I also believe it is to make people who are filthy rich, more rich, whilst paying the actual ground workers next to nothing, plus destroying the natural habitat of animals
Posted 25 Feb 2014
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